South Florida resales break record in 2010
Nearly 75,000 single-family houses, condos and townhouses resold in South Florida for the year, breaking the record set in 2009 and surpassing totals during the housing boom of 2006, according to Condo Vultures, a real estate consultant firm based in Florida. Resales in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties increased 10.4% from 2009 and passed the 67,600 transactions in 2006. After the housing market's collapse, resales dropped to 47,600 in 2007 and 45,700 in 2008. Peter Zalewski, a principal at Condo Vultures, said buyers rushed to take advantage of discounts as high as 40% and to beat the deadline for the homebuyer tax credit. "Today's South Florida real estate market is strictly a function of price, not emotion," Zalweski said. The discounts came from elevated foreclosure levels in the area. The Miami metropolitan statistical area had more than 58,624 foreclosure filings in the third quarter — the seventh highest foreclosure rate in the country, according to RealtyTrac. Of the top 15 MSAs in terms of foreclosure rates, Miami was one of only three that had increases from the year and quarter, increasing 9% and 24% respectively. Higher foreclosures mean falling prices, which will continue to attract investor activity in 2011. The average price on South Florida resale properties was $221,200, a 44% drop from the peak in 2006 of $398,000. Write to Jon Prior.